In recent weeks, I’ve been helping my better half, Andrea, wrap up the planning of our May wedding. Before I go any further, I have to thank her for letting me off so easy for so long!

This week, I finally got around to completing a long overdue task. Andrea asked me to order an instant photo guest book. Don’t know what that is? Neither did I until this week. Wedding guests snap a photo with a Polaroid instant camera and insert the photo along with their names and best wishes into the guest book. It’s a great concept that turns the otherwise staid guest book into a lively and entertaining facebook.

To help me out, Andrea pointed me to a specific retailer – Adesso Albums. While browsing the site, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Adesso is a real believer in the power of customer word of mouth and the impact of “influentials.” The company gives happy customers an opportunity to earn $100 by spreading the word about their great products.

Adesso is a young company that no doubt lacks the dollars needed to buy big marketing and media attention, but by leveraging the goodwill, personal relationships and networks of their satisfied customers, they can level the playing field cost effectively and on the basis of their good name. Isn’t this the idea behind smart marketing anyways?

By writing this post, I suppose I qualify for the incentive, but that wasn’t my motivation. Instead, I wanted to draw attention to word of mouth marketing in practice. So much of what we read and hear on this topic is theory, policy, and public debate. But in this case, a small company with an innovative product is walking the talk.

I sincerely hope that Adesso’s word of mouth efforts exceed their expectations and that they continue to build their brand and business with direct help from their most vocal customers. In the meantime, if you are in the market for an instant photo guest book, check Adesso out!

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